Review & Giveaway: Drowning to Breathe (Bleeding Stars #2) by A.L. Jackson

Posted September 17, 2015 by bookstobreathe in Book Review, Giveaway, New Release / 0 Comments

Review & Giveaway: Drowning to Breathe (Bleeding Stars #2) by A.L. JacksonTitle: Drowning to Breathe
Author: AL Jackson
Series: Bleeding Stars #2
Publisher: Self-Published
Release Date: September 15, 2015
Genre: Contemporary Romance, New Adult
More Info: Goodreads
Purchase: Amazon US
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Purchase: Amazon UK
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The danger in pretending is it becoming real...

Sebastian Stone, Sunder front man and guitarist with a rap sheet about ten miles long, escaped to Savannah, Georgia, to get away from the trouble he’d caused.

Not find more of it.

The moment he saw Shea Bentley, he saw beneath all her sweet and innocence to something that went deeper.


Their relationship was built on secrets; their love built on lies.

Sebastian never imagined how deep her secrets went.

When the past and present collide, Sebastian and Shea find themselves fighting for a future neither believed they deserved. Their passion is consuming and their need unending.

Now, holding the truth in his hands, Sebastian is faced with sacrificing everything he’s come to love to protect Shea and his family.

Two pasts intertwined.

Two lives bound.

Will their demons drown them or will Shea and Sebastian finally learn to breathe?


“When I look at you, I see a future I never thought existed.”




My heart slammed around in my chest and my sight narrowed on one singular goal.


It felt like a lifetime to get to her house, and there was nothing stopping me now. Unlocking her front door, I charged up the stairs. I didn’t pause at her bedroom door. I threw it open. I needed to get to her.

With her back to me, Shea was curled around a pillow on the center of her bed. She startled with the sudden intrusion and jerked up to sitting. Caramel eyes blinked at me through the dim light, confusion and hurt and sorrow.

Motionless, I stood in the doorway as the silence hovered over all our uncertainties.

On all the questions.

But Shea was right.

None of that mattered.

And this was enough.

“Shea.” My voice broke on her name.

I took a step inside and latched the door shut behind me.

Shea’s chin quivered, and she lifted it because I knew this girl wanted to be brave. I knew she was playing through a million scenarios. Mentally going through all the ways I was going to let her go. How I was going to let her down. I knew the words she expected to spill from my mouth because for too long I’d been a coward and a fool, thinking sacrifice was the only way to make this right.

Because every time I turned around, I lost someone I loved.

Not this time.

I swallowed hard. “You want to know what I see when I look at you?”

When the intensity in my voice hit her, Shea choked out a tiny sob.

I took one step closer as I began to speak. “I see someone who’s so fucking sweet and kind that every time I look at her it just about knocks me from my feet, because I’ve had so much bad in my life I don’t know how to stand in her presence. I see someone who I know I don’t deserve, so every time I turn around, I’m runnin’ scared because I’m terrified of ruining everything she is.”

Slowly, I approached her, and she watched me in the shadows. Her hands trembled in her lap as I neared.

“I see someone who deserves the greatest kind of joy.”

Another step closer, and Shea crept toward the side of the bed. She drew a single leg up to her chest. Clinging to it as if it could protect her from any more pain. Everything she felt and wanted and feared was exposed in the expression on her face.

I stopped at the edge of the bed and dropped to my knees.

A small cry escaped her mouth.

Reaching out, I gripped her face in my hands, my fingers burrowing in soft, soft hair.

“I see someone, who even though there’s not a chance in this world I could ever be good enough to have her…good enough to hold her…that’s all I want to do. I see someone I want to protect and love and fight for.”

Tears streamed down her cheeks. She edged even closer and let her legs slip over the side.

I settled myself between her knees and met the storm in her eyes.

“I see beauty and light.”

Those eyes flashed, and emotion crushed my ribs. This girl had me twisted up in every way possible.

Shea gasped when I grabbed her by the waist and pulled her to me. I shifted so I sat on the floor with my back propped against the bed.

Shea was straddling my lap.

Warmth enveloped me. Her heart was pounding, all tucked up against me, right where she belonged.

Her skin felt so soft. Mine lit on fire.

She searched my face and I kept on.

“I see the most fucking gorgeous girl I’ve ever had the pleasure to lay my eyes on.” My voice dropped as I leaned up so I could brush my mouth across her ear. “The pleasure to touch.”

A shiver rolled through her, and I gathered one of her hands between us, threading our fingers. I studied them as I struggled to form the words.

I lifted my gaze and spoke with the most honesty I’d ever allowed myself.

“When I look at you, I see a future I never thought existed, Shea.”


My Review

We were drowning in desperation.

Dying in need.

Dying to love.

Seeking reprieve from all the misery and pain.

This series has ruined me. This author has ruined me. Her words. The feelings. The angst. The heartbreak. The terror and fear. The love. It always comes back to the love. If you think after reading the first book you had an inkling of what was to come, let me be the first to tell you that you have absolutely no clue! There were so many twists and turns and truths uncovered in this book that many I couldn’t even see coming. The web she weaves is so intricately well put together that I found myself saying at the end, holy heck. What was I just a part of? Because that’s how Jackson writes a book. You don’t read it, you become a partner in it. You are drawn in so intimately that you cease to remember the outside world exists. She does this like not many authors are able to do, wringing you out, and hanging you up to dry. But you always know  at the end of the road, all the pain was worth it and you would without a doubt go through every bit of it again and again to be a part of the outcome. Because the love that is shared between Baz and Shea, well, it’s so beautiful it hurts your heart, to the point you can’t breathe. There could be no more perfect title for this book because it’s exactly how I felt at the end of the story, struggling to catch my breath.

I thought perhaps I’d lost a piece of my mind, a part of my soul, because my mouth watered and my body hummed with need that bordered on unhealthy.




I’d love nothing more than to go into details about each and everything little thing I loved about this book, but it more than others simply needs to be a road the reader walks alone. You need to form your own theories. You need to discover each character in your own way. And you need to figure out how you will deal with the atrocities thrown at you. At each and every turn you will face a battle right alongside the characters. But the reward? Oh, it’s so worth every ounce of hurt and then some. These two souls and that sweet little girl were meant to be together. There is no doubt in my mind. And with everything I read and discovered in this series, it only solidified that fact even more. The ferocity of their love for each other left me in utter awe with every page I turned. The strength and self-sacrifice these characters exhibited was a thing of beauty. It proved that they were stronger together more than they ever were apart. Their ability to forgive each other, to see beyond what was presented, and the way they fought mercilessly for one another brought tears to my eyes. I just loved the way they loved.

Lost in his spirit.

Drowning in his presence.

Where he was my air and my hope, the one who’d breathed belief into the hollow loneliness of my heart.

The one who’d filled it.

While I felt like there was one stone left unturned in this book, I understand why. He will be getting his own separate story. It wasn’t a huge thing for the ARC of Shea and Baz, but it will be for him. I cannot wait for more and t read the stories of the other three men in the band. Though we have reached the end of these two people I have come to endlessly love, I’m eager to see what else Jackson will through at us. This is one series you will not want to miss!

Reveling in the truth of our words.

Savoring in the tenor of our kisses.

Relishing in the crescendo of our bodies.

I’d rather be right here.

Writing the lyrics to an everlasting song.







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A Stone in the Sea

(Bleeding Stars, #1)

Amazon US

My Review

Stone in the Sea-FINAL-high

He wanted nothing at all…

Until he found she had everything to give…

Sunder lead singer and guitarist Sebastian Stone has everything—fans, fame, and fortune. He also has a heart full of bitterness and a reputation for a short-fused temper. But an outward reputation rarely reveals the true man inside. Facing assault charges after trying to protect his younger brother, Sebastian is sent to Savannah, Georgia to lie low until the dust settles in L.A.

Shea Bentley is beautiful, kind, and hiding from the very lifestyle Sebastian has always embraced.

When the mysterious, tattooed stranger begins hanging out at the bar where she works, Shea is quick to recognize he is nothing but trouble, but she’s helpless to the way her body lights up every time his intense gray eyes tangle with hers.

They both soon find themselves drowning in a sea of desire and passion that won’t let them up for air.

Sebastian knows firsthand secrets never die, and he’s not the only one who’s hiding them.

Loving someone always comes with a price. But will it be Shea’s past that costs them everything?


About AL Jackson

AL Jackson is the New York Times & USA Today Bestselling author of contemporary romance. She writes emotional, sexy, heart-filled stories about boys who usually like to be a little bit bad.

If she’s not writing, you can find her hanging out by the pool with her family, sipping cocktails with her friends, or of course with her nose buried in a book.

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